A catalogue of Western manuscripts at the Bodleian Libraries and selected Oxford colleges

Merton College MS. 43

Former shelfmark: C. 1. 4



Language(s): Latin

fols. i, ii-ivv blank. On fol. iv is a table of contents, s. xv, showing that an ‘Ysagoge philosophie moralis’ is missing after art. 10. An annotator of s. xvi or xvii notes its absence. It may have been ps.-Robert Grosseteste, Summa Philosophiae (Powicke, p. 183; Thomson, Grosseteste, p. 265 n.).

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: deus confert
Two originally separate books, bound together soon after the date of the first.
Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Extent: 86 leaves (iv + 82)
Dimensions (leaf): 185 × 125 mm.
The edges savagely retrimmed, affecting marginalia, and stained red.


A4, 112(+ 1 before 1), 212, 312(+ 1 after 6), 414 / 516(lacks 1–4), 616, a bifolium.


Standard Merton s. xvii, sewn on three bands; formerly chained from the usual position. fol. i was a pastedown in an earlier binding.


Provenance and Acquisition

On fol. iv, erased, ‘Liber ⟨magistri Thome Gauge quem in parte emit et in parte scripsit⟩’; ‘prec’ vii. s.’ Thomas Gawge (BRUO 749–50), fellow c. 1441–8, canon of York &c., d. 1470.

Inside the front board is a sheet of paper with ‘C. 6, 11’ (canc.) and a table of contents, s. xvii, ‘N. 4. 4. Art:’, s. xvii, canc. and replaced by ‘C. 1. 4 (XLIII)’ in red; the College bookplate. ‘4’ is inked on the foredge.

Merton College MS. 43 – Part I


Language(s): Latin

1. (fols. 1–2)
Peter of Blois (?), De Tribulatione
Rubric: Petrus Blesensis de utilitate tribulacionis
Incipit: Vtilitas tribulacionis hominis est eo quod illuminat cor hominis
Explicit: in presenti cum perfecta pacientia Deo gracias

A paraphrase, the full text pr. PL 207. 989–1006 (repr. of De Goussainville, Paris, 1667), citing this copy and MS 47 (see col. xxiA-B). The incipit here corresponds to the beginning of the ‘Quarta tribulationis utilitas’, at 995C of the printed text. Bloomfield 6239, only this and MS 47 with this incipit, as against the far commoner 1302. Sharpe, Handlist, p. 423.

2. (fols. 2–3)
Ps.-AUGUSTINE, De Paenitentia (Serm. 393)
Incipit: Penitentes penitentes penitentes
Explicit: tene certum &c. finis

PL 39. 1713–15.

3. (fols. 3–8v)
HUGH OF ST VICTOR, De Virtute Orandi
Incipit: Quo studio et quo affectu a nobis orandus sit Deus
Explicit: prolixioris operis tractum expetit &c. finis Deo gracias

PL 176. 977–88; Goy, p. 425.

4. (fols. 8v-18)
Ps.-AUGUSTINE (AMBROSIUS AUTPERTUS), De Conflictu Virtutum et Vitiorum
Rubric: Augustinus de conflictu uiciorum et uirtutum al. Gregorius
Incipit: Apostolica uox clamat per orbem
Explicit: (c. 26) fidem prebeto et sic finis Deo gracias
Final rubric: Explicit liber beati Augustini de conflictu uiciorum et uirtutum. Qui scripsit carmen sit benedictus amen

CCSL cont. med. 27B (1979), pp. 909–29; Bloomfield 0455. A marginal note by the scribe, cropped by the binder, states that this is not the end of the complete work, and that it is more likely to be by Gregory than Augustine.

5. (fols. 18v-19v)
Ps.-AUGUSTINE, De Creatione Primi Hominis
Rubric: De ymagine et similitudine
Incipit: Tanta dignitas humane condicionis esse cognoscitur
Explicit: in secundo reformauit
Final rubric: Et sic finis huius Deo gracias. Explicit tractatus beati Augustini de ymagine et similitudine Trinitatis.

PL 40. 1213–14. The common excerpt from De Spiritu et Anima.

6. (fols. 19v-20v)
Rubric: Incipit tractatus Hugonis de Sancto Victore de tribus que offerre debet homo Trinitati Deo ut efficacia ymago Trinitatis
Incipit: Quid retribuam Domino ...; O homo quid sit bonum
Explicit: cum ad eius similitudinem reformaris
Final rubric: Et sic finis Deo gratias

Beg. as MS 13 art. 33.

7. (fols. 21–3v)
Ps.-AUGUSTINE, De Decem Plagis (Serm. app. 21)
Rubric: Incipit liber beati Augustini de 10 plagis
Incipit: Non sine causa est f. d. quod preceptorum Dei numerus
Explicit: poteritis peruenire illesi &c. finis Deo gracias
Final rubric: Explicit .... Qui scripsit carmen sit benedictus amen

PL 39. 1783–6.

8. (fol. 24r-v)
Rubric: Augustinus de timore
Incipit: Hoc dicimus et hoc docemus k. quod Deus lux est
Explicit: cum delectatione faciamus &c. finis Deo gratias
Final rubric: Explicit tractatus beati Augustini de timore

unpr.; Römer 2. 378–9, citing eleven copies including this one, the earliest of s. ix; apparently not genuine, but ends as De Doctr. Christ. 1. 15.

9. (fol. 25r-v)
Incipit: Duobus modis diabolus in nobis humilitatem oppugnat
Explicit: firmare concupiscit
Final rubric: Et sic finis Deo gratias. Explicit tractatus M. Hugonis de Sancto Victore de duobus modis quos diabolus in nobis humilitatem oppugnat et quomodo defendere debet humilitas contra hos modos.

PL 177. 565–7; Bloomfield 1837.

10. (fols. 26–52v)
Incipit: Racio potissime ueneni conuenit peccato
Explicit: illa marito aliis derelictis
Final rubric: Explicit tractatus de uenenis secundum Lincolniensem episcopum. amen.

pr. Paris 1518; Thomson, Grosseteste, pp. 268–70; Bloomfield 5102.

Physical Description


Written space 130–40 × 75–96 mm. , frame-ruled with crayon, written in c. 34 long lines.


The secretary hand of Thomas Gawge.


Blue initials flourished in red; a few red initials flourished in ink of text; red paraphs and underlining.


Origin: S. XV med. ; England

Merton College MS. 43 – Part II


Language(s): Latin

11. (fol. 53)
PETER OF LIMOGES, De Oculo Morali (The last few lines only)
Incipit: ||tinus. Iob xxxvi. Deus non auferet iusto oculos suos
Explicit: et illic eriguntur ad illud regnum nos perducat I. C. amen
Colophon: Nomen scriptoris Walterus amator amoris. Scriptor Walterus uir constans optimus eris / [Two more lines, erased]

pr. Venice 1496 &c.; Glorieux, Théol. 178a; Thomson, Grosseteste, p. 257; Bloomfield 5532.

12. (fols. 53–67)
?Remigius of Auxerre, De Celebratione Missae
Incipit: Selebracio misse in commemoracione passionis Christi peragitur
Explicit: (c. 40) que misterio misse peracta uidentur a Domino esse recepta
Colophon: Expliciunt quidem. Nomen scriptoris Walterus amator amoris

PL 101. 1246–71, ending differently from the pr. text.

The rest of the quire, fol. 67rv, was filled early on with a sermon:

Incipit: Faciam uos fieri piscatores hominum. Nota spiritualiter mundus iste dicatur mare
Explicit: rethe Dei quos capit reseruat ad uitam eternam &c.

Followed by a note in French on the ‘dies periculosae’: pr. from a different copy by P. Meyer, ‘Bribes de littérature anglo-normande’, Jahrbuch für roman. u. engl. Literatur7 (1866), 47–51, &c.; Dean & Boulton, no. 379 (citing this MS as 569)

Language(s): Anglo-Norman
13. (fols. 68–80v; fols. 81–2v blank)
Innocent III, De Sacro Altaris Mysterio
Rubric: Tractatus Innocencii III de exposicione misse et eius capitulis
Incipit: Tria sunt in quibus precipue lex diuina consistit
Explicit: (ends impf. in ‘Quinta feria ad uesperam’, the first chapter not in the PL text) sui sacramentum Christus instituit

PL 217. 773–916; list of MSS by D. F. Wright in Rivista di storia della chiesa in Italia 29 (1975), 444–52, this copy his no. 115 at p. 447. There were originally many more chapters in this copy. The last ch. in PL ends here ‘Panis fiat corpus et uinum sanguis dilectissimi filii tui domini nostri Iesu Christi.’

Physical Description


Written space 160 × 95 mm. , frame-ruled with crayon in 2 cols; written in c. 41 lines.


The anglicana hand of Walter, who occasionally lengthens ascenders into the upper margin, and ornaments them with oak leaves &c.


Blue initials flourished in red, red initials flourished in ink of text; a few small plain red or blue initials.


Origin: S. XIV med. ; England

Additional Information

Record Sources

R. M. Thomson, A descriptive catalogue of the medieval manuscripts of Merton College, Oxford (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer), 2009.


For enquiries relating to this manuscript please contact Merton College Library.


    Coxe, pp. 29–30; Powicke, no. 569; Römer 2. 306.

Funding of Cataloguing

Conversion of the printed catalogue to TEI funded by the Warden and Fellows of Merton College .

Last Substantive Revision

2018-08-01: First online publication

See the Availability section of this record for information on viewing the item in a reading room.